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How To Choose New Carpet Like A Pro!

Expert Advice to Help Consumers Choose Wisely & Avoid Carpet Scams!

 (Information Only - No Carpet or Flooring Sales - Homepage)


How Do Experts Choose New Carpet?


Carpet Sample Board - How to choose new carpet like a pro!  Carpetprofessor.comIf you're in the market for new carpeting but don't know where to start, the Carpet Professor provides free unbiased product information and expert buying advice for consumers.


"I retired after 30+ years in the Carpet business and no longer sell or install Carpet. Now I enjoy helping homeowners learn secrets to choosing wisely, avoiding scams and having a safe & successful Carpet Buying Experience!"   Alan Fletcher aka "The Carpet Professor"


How much does new carpet cost? That's the first question most homeowners ask. Prices have certainly gone up quite a bit in the past few years. But before we discuss carpet cost, it's important for consumers to focus on obtaining the right carpet grade or quality that is designed meet your needs and goals.


Your goal should be to spend the least amount possible to accomplish your goals. What goals you ask? Do you need carpet for an active party room, a large bedroom or a formal dining room? How long do you want your carpet to last? Your answers to these questions and many more, is how you determine what grade of carpet you need to purchase to meet your needs and goals. Once you figure out what grade of carpet you need to buy, you will know the answer to your initial question, "How much does new carpet cost".


First consider factors like "What will this room used for? Does it clean easily and resist stains? How much foot-traffic will this room receive?" You must take into consideration the room's main function and then choose a grade of carpet that is designed to handle that level of foot traffic. Take my free Carpet Foot-Traffic Test to get your score and reveal the grade of carpet you need to buy.



Watch Now! Carpet Professor Video


Best Places to Shop for New Carpet?


Creative Carpets Orlando FloridaIf you want a long lasting and durable carpet, Shop at locally-owned carpet stores with a tidy showroom filled with carpet samples for you consider and eventually order from. Buy first-quality goods that comes with a manufacturers new carpet warranty. This is where you will receive the best customer service and where I myself would shop for new carpet.


Most local stores will let you take samples home for a few days, so take your time! Start your search by looking at medium-grade styles to see what you get for your money at that level. Learn more about Carpet Specifications


Gradually expand your search to higher grades of carpet until you find exactly what you're looking for or you feel you've reached the top end of your budget. Keep and eye on the manufacturers specifications as you compare samples side by side. For the best outcome, you should buy first-quality materials from local retailers who have experienced staff and qualified installers ready to install your carpet as soon as it arrives from the mill. (usually within 2 to 3 weeks). If you just need carpet for a small room or area, consider buying a carpet remnant. Most carpet stores have quite a few remnants to choose from. 



If you are on a super tight budget and are not too particular about style or color, consider visiting a carpet outlet warehouse. You can save money if you can handle jumping through all their hoops and challenges. This option is one step above self-serve. Do you know how much carpet you need to purchase. You will need to know the answer to that question. Do you know How to Measure for Carpet?


Rolls of carpet on display at an outlet store.These carpet resellers tend to cater to the DIYer's, property managers, landlords, investors, apartment owners, rehabs etc. What you see on their warehouse floor is what they have for sale today. You will see a sign that says "No returns" and "limited to stock on hand". The customer service they provide is the bare minimum, so don't take it personally when they don't roll out the red carpet for you. The Best and Worst Places to Buy New Carpet


Outlet stores tend to sell lower-quality materials at reasonable prices, but don't expect a top quality long-lasting durable carpet for half price. You might have to hire an independent installer (and maybe to measure your home) if you choose to buy from a discount carpet store. Bring a truck, rope and a tarp if it might rain because most stores don't deliver. Cash and carry!


7 Factors to Consider... 


Do you know how to:

  1. Locate a Reputable, Locally-Owned Carpet Store? Recommended Stores

  2. Compare Carpet Samples Side by Side? Carpet Durability Guide Chart

  3. Tell How Long Your New Carpet Will Last? (Free 5-minute) Foot-Traffic Test & Durability Score

  4. Locate & Understand Carpet Specifications? Carpet Specifications

  5. Avoid Carpet Scams? Common Retail Sales Scams

  6. Obtain & Verify Accurate Room Measurements? Common Measuring Scams

  7. Follow Care & Maintenance Requirements? New Carpet Warranty Requirements

  8. Ensure Your Carpet has been Installed Correctly? About Qualified Installers


Carpet Comparison

Buying new carpet is a major purchase and it is important that you take your time making your final selections. Don't allow any salesperson to pressure you into buying before you've had a chance to comparison shop and consider all your options. 


Getting several free in-home estimates (from reputable retailers) is the easiest and best way to compare products and services, verify measurements and cost. Your goal should be to find the perfect carpet, order the necessary amount, have it installed correctly, and buy from a reputable dealer. 


Even if the carpet and padding at each store is identical, the store with the lowest price may not be the best deal for you. I would gladly pay a bit more to get superior service and qualified installation then to take chances just save a few bucks. Recommended Carpet Stores


How To Compare Carpet

Start by printing or downloading my free Carpet Shopping Guides and Forms. They are designed to help you choose wisely, save time & money and narrow down your final choices. When you are ready to venture out and visit a few local carpet showrooms, consider checking my list of recommended Carpet Stores I've located near you. What makes one carpet more durable than another? Learn How To Compare Carpet Samples side by side.



Homeowners often make simple but costly mistakes, like...

  • Choosing The Wrong Grade of Carpet... Carpet that does not meet their needs or goals.

  • Overpaying for Materials & Labor... Because they don't compare at least 3 bids or estimates.

  • Have Carpet Installed improperly... Because they don't buy from a reputable carpet dealer.

  • Void Their New Carpet Warranty... Because they fail to maintain their new carpet as required.

Carpet sample rackThere are plenty of ways to make costly mistakes when it comes to choosing new carpet and flooring. You shouldn't rely on any one salesperson to make your carpet and padding choices for you. If you do, and your new carpet does not perform as well as expected, you can't go back and blame the salesperson for giving you bad or wrong advice. Once you agree to buy it, you are stuck with it whether or not you are happy with its performance.


Some folks make the mistake of choosing new carpet based solely on cost, color, style or feel. You have to dig quite a bit deeper than that to make sure you choose the right carpet that will serve you best. Everything you need to know is here in my website. Do your carpet and padding research before you begin shopping for new carpet. To get started, there are five main Carpet Specifications you need to consider very carefully. Read on...



Carpet Fiber Options

Choosing the right grade of carpet is not as easy as it once was. Today there are dozens of different styles, grades and quality levels to choose from. Carpet durability is based mainly upon the raw materials they use in the manufacturing process. Why do some Carpets last longer than others? 


Understanding Carpet Specifications is secret #1 to choosing new carpet like a pro! The type of fiber you choose is the most critical factor when choosing new carpet. Choosing the right fiber is the First Decision you need to make. Which Carpet Fiber will be the perfect choice for your home? Here is some key information about carpet fibers.



Fiber Basics:


Nylon is the most durable synthetic fiber available today. The two most popular nylon fibers are Anso 6.0 and Antron 6.6. Nylon is very resilient which is why it resists matting and crushing of the pile better than all other fibers. Nylon resists stains and cleans easily too but it is not as soft to the touch as Polyester. Nylon is also the most costly of all synthetic fibers. Nylon can be color dyed. $$$  How Much Does Nylon Carpet Cost?


Soft Nylon - Spend a little more and you can get a softer feel. The popular "soft" nylon styles are created by extruding the fiber strand thinner to make it feel softer. A thinner strand is not as strong which makes this option less durable than a standard nylon fiber. Some folks are willing to pay more to get a nylon with softer feel and be more durable.  $$$$


Sorona / PTT (aka Triexta or Smartstrand by Mohawk) is best known for its softness and stain resistance. Originally invented in the 1940's, it was finally made available in the marketplace in year 2000 when the cost became comparable with nylon. Not as durable as nylon. $$$


Polyester and PET Polyester is a less costly option but tends to mat down quickly in medium to heavy traffic applications, especially along main walkways, busy thoroughfares like hallways and stairs. Polyester is very soft and stain resistant, but not as durable as Sorona. $$  What is P.E.T. Polyester?


Olefin (aka Polypropylene) is a very strong fiber and is commonly used for inexpensive looped Berber styles, outdoor grass and level-loop or cut-pile commercial grade carpets. It's also great for damp pool areas, basements and patios because it is moisture resistant. $$


Wool Carpet is the most costly of all fiber options, easily topping $100 per square yard. Wool is naturally soft, resists burning and a durable fiber. It is more costly to install and maintain too, but is well known for it's elegance and ability to last a lifetime if cared for properly. Not a good choice for homes with young children or active pets as it is way more costly to have wool carpets cleaned or repaired. According to the manufacturers new carpet warranty brochure, you are required to use a carpet cleaning company that specializes in cleaning wool carpets. $$$$



How Much Does Carpet Cost?

If you haven't checked carpet prices lately, you'll be shocked when you see the current new carpet prices for good quality carpet and padding. Ten years ago, a medium-quality carpet, with pad and installation, used to run about $35.00 per square yard, today that same quality is over $50.00 ($5.55 per sf). 


Carpeting your entire home? A medium-quality 100% Nylon Carpet for a typical 2-bedroom home (100 sy or 900 sf) now averages $5700 including basic pad and installation. You can expect it to last 7 to 12 years depending on your level of foot traffic. Learn more about Nylon Carpet Cost vs. Lifespan


Carpet Measuring: SF verses SY Explained 

There are two ways to figure your carpet material needs, by the Square Foot or by the Square Yard. Either way is acceptable and the end result is the same. For example: A room measuring 10' long by 12' wide equals 120 square feet (SF). This is calculated by multiplying the with and length. (10 x 12 = 120)


  • You can change from square feet to square yards by dividing the total square feet by 9. The square yardage for a room 10' by 12' would be 13.33 yards (10 x 12 = 120 sf divided by 9 = 13.33 sy).

  • A simple 2 bedroom home requires about 900 square feet of carpet. This covers the living room, the dining room, hallway and two bedrooms. 900 square feet is equal to 100 square yards. (900 divided by 9 = 100) 


Using the diagram below you can see the size of one square foot verses one square yard.

  • One square foot is 12 inches wide by 12 inches long. 

  • One square yard is 36 inches wide by 36 inches long. 

  • There are 9 square feet in one square yard. 


Diagram shows 1 square foot compared to 1 square yard. Carpet measuring -



What is your Foot-Traffic Score?


To avoid choosing the wrong grade of carpet, start by taking my free Carpet Foot-Traffic Test. It's a simple 6-question test to help determine your foot-traffic score and select the right grade or quality carpet to meet your needs and goals.


Families with active kids and pets tend to have heavy foot-traffic in their home. That means choosing a grade of carpet that is more durable. To choose a carpet designed to tolerate your level of foot traffic, you first need to determine your level of foot traffic. Combine that with the number of years you expect your new carpet to last and you have a starting point for making wise choices.


1. What is the level of foot-traffic in your home? Low, Medium, Moderate, Heavy?

2. How long you want your new carpet to last? 5, 10, 15, 20 years or more?


Carpet cost, quality, durability and longevity are all inter-connected. Combine all that with your own unique level of foot-traffic and you can see how choosing the right grade of carpet can become a bit complicated. 


Choosing the Right Grade of Carpet?

It's not like it was 50-60 years ago when choices were very limited and most carpets were made to last at least 20 years. Today there are hundreds of different grades, styles and quality levels to choose from. The trick is knowing which grade will be the best choice for your home. Some carpets are designed to wear out in less than 5 years, some are designed to take a beating and last for 20 years or more. Use my free Carpet Durability Guide Chart to help narrow down your final choices.



What are Carpet Remnants?

Has anyone ever mentioned that you can purchase brand new carpet for a fraction of the original dealer price? Most carpet comes in rolls that are 12 feet wide and up to 100 feet in length. A carpet remnant is an amount of carpet that is less than a full roll. When part of the roll has been sold it leaves a balance still available for purchase, this is referred to as a Carpet Remnant, Roll Balance or a Roll End. 


It's common for local carpet and flooring stores to discount smaller carpet sizes to make room for new products. The discount offered varies based on many factors including the size of the carpet, the color/ style, and popularity. If the remnant is a popular style and color, the discount will be less because they know it will sell quickly. 


Size Matters - Measuring Your Rooms

The smaller the remnant size the larger the discount will be. Remnants that are less than 12 feet in Carpet Remnants displayed upright along the wall.width or length are discounted more because most bedrooms are larger than 12' x 12'. If you have a smaller area that needs carpet, the price you pay can be next to nothing! 


There are no refunds on discounted remnants so make sure you know your exact room measurements. Before you agree to purchase any remnant ask them roll it out to verify the size and inspect for any flaws or defects. Check the back side of the carpet too.


The Luck of the Draw!

Selection is limited to stock on hand so if you don't find exactly what you're looking for today, you might find it next week or at a different flooring store. Visit other nearby carpet shops if you have the time. Few homeowners know that they can enjoy brand new carpet for a mere fraction of the original dealer pricing. The trick is knowing How To Choose Carpet Remnants Wisely.




Padding Types, Durability, Lifespan and Cost

You rarely see it, but carpet padding does a very important job. It is the shock-absorber for your carpet. It helps reduce the damaging effects of abrasion. It's real easy to select the wrong grade, type, thickness or density of pad. Most people trust the salesperson to select the right pad. This can spell disaster if you are ill-advised. 


The cost of padding is going up. Ten years ago, a good quality 6-pound Rebond Pad cost about $3.50 per square yard (.39 per sf). Now it's over $5.00 (.55 per sf). Most carpet makers now recommend using 8-pound density padding and you can expect to pay over $6.00 per square yard (.66 to .88 per sf). This link shows the various types of carpet padding, current prices and which pad might be the best choice for your home. Carpet Padding Cost, Options and Upgrades Explained


The carpet you select has minimum padding specifications required by the carpet manufacturer, including type, thickness and density. Choose the wrong pad and you can instantly void your new carpet warranty. You don't want your padding to wear out before your carpet does. It would be wise to invest in a good quality pad that can easily outlive the lifespan of your carpet. Learn more about Choosing the Right Pad.


Unnecessary Padding Upgrades?

With most residential carpet styles, a good quality 6 pound, 7/16" Rebond style pad will usually be more than sufficient. You can expect 10 years of service before it starts to deteriorate. Upgrade to an 8 pound density and the lifespan will increase to about 12-15 years. This is the most economical way to go. 


If the carpet you select is designed to last 10 years there is no reason to spend more for a pad designed to last for 20 years. That would be a waste of money. If you choose a carpet designed to last 20 years, you will need to upgrade to a higher density padding. They have 10 and 12 pound density pads available and other high-quality pads that are designed to last 20 years or more. 


Don't be easily swayed by a salesperson who says you need to spend more for an upgraded pad or Specialized Carpet Pad unless the carpet manufacturer requires it. To avoid over-spending, match your carpet quality with your padding quality. There is no need to upgrade your padding unless you are buying a higher-quality carpet.



Q. Can I save money by hiring an independent installer?

Yes, it is possible for you to save money by hiring an independent flooring installer. Some installers use various media outlets to help promote their services. They may be new to the area, starting a new business or just need to make some extra cash to cover their bills. Are they qualified and experienced enough with your type of job? You should use my simple Carpet Installer Questionnaire. It's designed to make sure you ask every potential independent installer 10 critical questions - then you can evaluate their answers to help narrow down your best choice, if any.


Even if you buy top quality carpet & padding, you won't enjoy the intended lifespan if installed improperly. Installation is one area where you should never skimp unless you understand the potential consequences! It can void your new carpet warranty, cut the carpet lifespan in half, cause waves & wrinkles to form, and force you to pay hundreds to have your carpet repaired and restretched. These are the most common issues caused by a bad installation job.


Carpet Installation Cost

Thirty years ago, it was common to pay $3 to $5 per square yard for qualified carpet installation. Installation alone for a typical 2-bedroom home (100 square yards) used to be less than $500. Today you can expect to pay closer to $800 or more depending on the layout of your home, where you live and the grade and style of carpet you select. Carpet Installation Cost and Extra Fees in 2024


Finding a qualified, well trained carpet installer is getting more difficult because there is a huge shortage of experienced carpet & flooring installers nationwide. That's why I suggest buying carpet from a reputable locally-owned flooring store who has their own "in-house" installation crew. 


Ask for a package deal, that's where you pay the dealer for the carpet, the pad and the installation and they take care of handling everything from start to finish. It's easier for you and much safer than trying to locate and hire a qualified independent installer. If you let the dealer arrange everything including the install, the benefit is having just one number to call if you ever have a problem.



Avoid Pushy Salespeople

Unscrupulous carpet retailers often hire salespeople who will say or do just about anything to convince you to buy from them right now! Many salespeople know very little about carpet or the flooring products they sell. They are hired because they are good at closing the sale. That means they don't take NO for an answer and keep pressuring you until you agree to buy.


This is yet another reason why I've compiled my own Special List of locally-owned carpet and flooring stores to recommend to my readers. They have helpful, knowledgeable salespeople, do accurate measuring and provide qualified installers to get the job done right the first time. Don't let obnoxious strong-arm salespeople push you around!


I don't blindly trust anyone's measurements. If you get three measures from different sources you can be sure that all three will be different. A little bit off is one thing, but if there is a huge difference (more than 5 square yards or 45 square feet)  then someone has measured wrong. Not quite sure if your salesperson's measurements are accurate? It's always wise to get at least three bids/estimates from honest local carpet stores. Then you can compare prices and measurements side by side and make wise and informed choices. Want to learn some basic carpet measuring techniques? How to Measure for Carpet Yourself!



Where's the Best Place to Shop for Carpet?


I hear this question often from homeowners who are tempted by amazing TV commercials. If it sounds too good to be true... then it probably is. Read the fine print. There are plenty of retail sales gimmicks to look out for:

  • Do you really get four rooms of carpet for the price of one? 

  • Is free carpet installation really free? 

To make sure you are getting a fair and square deal, get several free measures (Estimates, Bids, Proposals etc.) from several different local flooring shops and compare products and services side by side. Don't automatically assume the lowest price is the best deal, buy from the dealer that you feel most comfortable with. Use my Free Carpet Shopping Form (PDF) to help simplify comparing samples and services. 


If you really want a good deal on new carpet, padding and Installation, may I suggest visiting one of my recommended carpet shops. It's taken me almost 10 years to compile my list of carpet dealers to recommend to my readers. Reputable Locally-Owned Carpet Stores


Learn More:

 - How to choose new carpet and flooring like a pro!


~ The Top 500 Carpet Stores in America ~


Check out My List of Recommended Carpet stores! A Great Carpet Selection is Waiting for You!

Watch Now!

Carpet Professor Video



"I Only Recommend The Best Locally-Owned Stores...

With Superior Service, Quality Products & Qualified Installers"


Recommended By The Carpet Profesor -  Recommended By The Carpet Profesor -   Recommended By The Carpet Profesor -





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